Zardari administered oath to the 14-member caretaker cabinet as one candidate stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony because he is serving in a government department. The members of the interim cabinet of caretaker premier Khoso were sworn-in during a brief ceremony at the presidency.
The ceremony was attended by Khoso, political leaders and senior officials. The 14 members of the caretaker cabinet are Malik Habib, Ahmer Bilal Soofi, Musaddaq Malik, Arif Nizami, Shahzada Ahsan Ashraf and Shahzada Jamal from Punjab; Sohail Wajahat Siddique, Maqbool H H Rahmatoola and Younis Soomro from Sindh; Abdul Malik Kasi, Asadullah Mandokhel and Mir Hassan Dhomki from Balochistan and Sania Nishtar and Feroze Jamal Shah Kakakhel from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Khoso had on Monday named a 15-member cabinet but one candidate, Mushtaq Khan, stayed away from the swearing-in ceremony as he is serving as the chief economic adviser in the State Bank of Pakistan. Portfolios are yet to be allocated to the caretaker ministers, most of whom are little known personalities.
However, some of them are experts in their respective fields. Some reports suggested the caretaker ministers are all people 84-year-old Khoso knows personally or has worked with in the past. Senior journalist Arif Nizami, the publisher of Pakistan Today daily, is likely to be given the information portfolio. Ahmer Bilal Soofi, an expert on international law who has advised the Pakistan government on matters like the Mumbai attacks, is expected to be given the Law Ministry.
Khoso took oath of office on March 25 and had been busy since then consulting political leaders and other stakeholders on the formation of his cabinet that will serve till the general election on May 11.